Madrid loses to slip in race; Atletico, Barca win

Published on NewsOK Modified: March 26, 2014 at 6:42 pm •  Published: March 26, 2014
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Atletico Madrid and Barcelona took advantage of a slip-up by Real Madrid to seize the initiative in the Spanish league title race while nervy Liverpool secured a seventh straight win to move into second place in the English Premier League.

Here is a roundup of the action in Europe on Wednesday:

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SPAIN

Real Madrid lost 2-1 at Sevilla to slip behind in the race for the Spanish league title, as leader Atletico Madrid and Barcelona both won to move ahead of their rival in the standings.

Cristiano Ronaldo put Madrid in charge with his league-leading 27th goal of the season in the 14th minute, but Sevilla striker Carlos Bacca scored twice, in the 19th and 73rd, to complete the comeback.

Diego Costa's second-half header gave Atletico a 1-0 victory at home over Granada as it moved three points clear of Madrid with eight rounds remaining.

Lionel Messi and Neymar helped Barcelona stay one point behind Atletico as it rose into second place, but the 3-0 win over Celta Vigo came at the cost of goalkeeper Victor Valdes tearing a right knee ligament.

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ENGLAND

Title-chasing Liverpool overcame an attack of nerves to squeeze to a 2-1 win over Sunderland and move to within a point of leader Chelsea in the Premier League.

Steven Gerrard's free kick and Daniel Sturridge's deflected shot put Liverpool two goals clear by the 48th minute, but the pressure of being a serious challenger for the title for the first time since 2009 showed in the final half-hour.

Ki Sung-yeung's 76th-minute header came amid a dominant spell for the relegation-threatened visitors but Liverpool hung on in the last minutes to seal a seventh straight league win.

Hope has turned into expectation at Anfield these past few weeks as Liverpool — the dominant side in England in the late 1970s and 1980s — has launched a title challenge against all odds.